Online selling
The 11 best augmented reality apps to boost online sales
Online selling

The 11 best augmented reality apps to boost online sales

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March 1, 2023

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The phenomenal success stories of top augmented reality (AR) apps can be inspirational for anybusiness leader or entrepreneur. And for those looking to build their own,  web based AR offers the perfect stepping stone.  

Key takeaways:  

  • Retail and e-commerce businesses must integrate AR into their customer experiences to stay relevant
  • Businesses should ensure that their augmented reality apps are easy to use and navigate
  • Businesses should know the purpose of building AR apps and develop solutions accordingly

The first commercial AR application, an advertising campaign by BMW, came into being in 2008. Since then, Augmented Reality (AR) apps have progressed by leaps and bounds.

Magic happens when the borders of the digital and physical blur. In commerce, the magician goes by the name of 3D and Augmented Reality (AR). The stage is the ubiquitous mobile.

Leading e-commerce platform Shopify saw a 40% spike in conversation rate with 3D-AR. Over 70% of consumers trust 3D-AR to be beneficial for buying decisions.

Why use augmented reality apps?

The reasons are many.

  • Customers can’t reach the shop? Take the product to their living room with demo visualizations.
  • Is geographical distance a roadblock? Transport the ‘trial room’ to the device with a click.
  • Want to wow angels and sharks? Twist, stretch, and animate the big idea before their bedazzled eyes.

Myths about augmented reality apps

  • Too expensive. Some people may be hesitant to invest in AR technology because they think it's too pricey. But, that's not the case. Even they are not aware of the impact the tech can have. Enhance the customer experience, increase engagement, and improve sales by 600%.
  • Hard to integrate. Incorporating AR into a website or e-commerce platform may require some technical expertise, but there are also many user-friendly tools and platforms available that make it easy to create and implement AR experiences.
  • You need to install an AR app. Not true, the tech can be integrated with a simply embedded code into your store website.

Delaying strategies are no longer an option. Here’s a clutch of 3D and AR mobile apps that reveal what that action looks like.

1. Enhance XR

The team at Enhance XR have combined the power, versatility, and impact of some of the trailblazing apps mentioned on this list. 

In other words, founders, manufacturers, and brands can get started with their AR journey by “3Dfying” 2D design assets quickly and strategizing sticky user experiences (UX) tailored for demos, virtual trails, and e-commerce conversions. 

What sets Enhance XR apart, however, is that it only needs a device and wi-fi. No app downloads, and no complicated headgear.

Stand out from the competition with an app that lets customers preview a sofa in their own home using augmented reality.

Click in "See in your space" to see this sofa

2. Shopify

Give ‘window shoppers’ a clearer understanding of your product.  Be it an up-close look or virtual trails in their own spaces. With Shopify’s AR tech that lets businesses add cool features to their e-commerce pages and digital catalogs. Convert browsers into customers by engaging powerfully and boosting confidence. Compatible with Android and iOS. 

3. IKEA Place   

‘See it before assembling it’ seems to be the motto driving Swedish furniture giant Ikea’s pioneering augmented reality strategy. Its 3D-AR app, one of the most popular on Apple’s ARKit platform.

It lets customers furnish their homes and décor with the brand’s iconic creations – from the comfort of wherever they are. 

After users take a snap of their environment (home, workplace, or retail store) on their mobile device, the app automatically scales and matches items to the available space, resulting in a smooth, easy, and immersive shopping experience that ensures the right size, style, and functionality. 

Compatible with Android and iOS. 

4. Roar

Whether it is eye-popping NFT art, interactive marketing campaigns, or hands-on training and learning materials, ROAR makes an immersive, metaverse-like engagement accessible to everyone: creators, educators, and businesses.  Make presentations, schedule demos, run innovation labs, launch products, and sell online by custom-creating AR-friendly content and letting users consume them at home or in-store effortlessly via mobile. Compatible with Android, iOS, and the web.

5. Snap AR

The Snap AR app, from US social media disruptor Snap Inc, unleashes the many dimensions of AR in one, hyper-engaging app. 

Users can exchange fun, filtered snapshots to turn everyday moments viral. Entrepreneurs and marketers can create a new class of AR experiences that are dynamic and interactive. 

Brands and recruiters can connect with agencies and talented creators for custom assignments. Developers can monetize AR expertise. And companies can support product development across verticals. Compatible with Android and iOS. 

6. YouCam 

This iconic suite of apps not only allows fashionistas to makeover their selfies with animated effects and backgrounds, but also lets them book beauty makeovers with virtual stylists. It also empowers over 200 beauty brands (including L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, Cosmopolitan, and Target) to significantly increase sales conversions with AI and AR-powered online try-on experiences that gets rid of guesswork. More excitement lies ahead with the tech-happy firm announcing plans to unleash ‘next-age’ features like print-to-digital look transfers, virtual hair coloring and beauty training tools. Compatible with android and iOS.

7. Giphy World

With Giphy World, users can literally ‘raise the conversation’ in glorious, AR-powered 3D. The app turns photos and videos into striking personalized statements by overlaying messages with vivid, computer generated imagery – thus taking social media communication to a whole new (and fun) level. Not surprisingly, Giphy World is particularly popular with the teen crowd. Compatible with android and iOS.

8. Google Lens

Pointing your camera towards an object can now fetch more than just a picture. That’s because Google Lens can also identify, describe, translate, share and save it – thereby converting visuals (pics from mobile folders or photographs of the real world) into helpful text or voice information. Be it exploring landmarks, decoding restaurant menus in a foreign land or finding the nearest store to shop for something one has just spotted, Google Lens combines the best of AI and AR. And lets brands integrate visual search in their marketing strategy compellingly. Compatible with android and iOS.

9. Houzz

From inspiration and advice for home décor and renovation ideas, to finding suppliers and professionals, to figuring out how items will look and fit one’s space (by placing objects from a marketplace featuring over 3,00,000 items onto a 3D-fied image of one’s room or environment), to finally stashing them in the cart – here is the ultimate home improvement and shopping destination. In a versatile, AR-fortified app.  Compatible with Android and iOS.

9. BBC Civilization

As the next benchmark of discovery-based learning and entertainment, the BBC’s app hand-holds users through a tutorial-based guided tour of the past. Users can scan their nearest flat surface to generate an AR projection that educates and inspires. Markerless technology makes for a fuss-free experience as viewers check out over 5,000 historical artifacts and historical pieces from 31 countries in life-size, interact with the virtual objects and turn on X-ray mode for an unforgettable encounter with AR. Compatible with Android and iOS.

10. Augment

This is an app that, quite literally, means business. The tech lets organizations who are active on e-commerce platforms convert 2D images into 3D visualizations to empower sales teams and drive e-commerce engagement. Compatible with Android and iOS.

11. Pokemon GO

This global gaming sensation uses GPS-enabled mobile devices to spot and engage with characters called Pokemon who may be hiding (embedded) in the player’s real-world locations such as buildings, public installations and monuments. Few players have managed to add fun to phygital like Pokemon GO. Compatible with Android and iOS.

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